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Rescued hiker in serious but not life-threatening condition

April 04, 2013|By Mark Boster and Robert J. Lopez | This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

The emergency room doctor who treated rescued hiker Nicholas Cendoya said late Wednesday that the 19-year-old was in serious but not life-threatening condition.

Dr. Matthew  Kaplan was the physician on duty at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo when Cendoya arrived there by helicopter. Television news footage showed Cendoya walking off the helicopter before being helped onto a hospital gurney.

Kaplan said Cendoya was admitted to the hospital's trauma unit but declined to say for what type of injury or trauma.

When found Wednesday evening after being lost since Sunday, Cendoya was "dehydrated and very confused," Lt. Jason Park of the Orange County Sheriff's Department told The Times.

The search continues for his hiking partner, Kyndall Jack, 18. Crews on the ground were being aided by rescuers in a helicopter who were using infrared technology in hopes of pinpointing her location.

Cendoya and Jack, both of Costa Mesa, have been the subject of intense search efforts by officials and volunteers.

Jack and Cendoya got lost Easter Sunday, telling authorities by cellphone late that evening that they were about a mile from their car in Holy Jim Canyon. But their phone lost power soon afterward, and no contact had been made since.

Cendoya was found about half a mile from the pair's car. According to Kaplan, Cendoya appeared to have survived by foraging in the wild for food and water, but did not elaborate.

[For the record, 6:47 a.m. April 4, 2013: An earlier version of this post reported that Cendoya would be undergoing surgery Thursday morning. Kaplan said Cendoya had been admitted to the hospital’s trauma unit. It was unclear whether he would undergo surgery.]  

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Twitter: @LAJourno

mark.boster@latimes.com

robert.lopez@latimes.com

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